The following blog post was submitted by one of our long time volunteers, and tells of the struggles and rewards of being a CASA:
In 2008 my oldest son was making some bad choices. He was involved with the police and I spent many sleepless nights worrying about what he was doing. I felt so helpless. During this time I started seeing and hearing CASA commercials – asking for volunteers. It was like a lightbulb went off. I knew I wanted to help other kids where I was being unsuccessful reaching my own. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own little universe that we forget the world is a big place with lots of hurting kids. Whereas I couldn’t reach my son – I could try to reach other kids. I needed somewhere else to focus my attention.
Being a volunteer is not for the faint hearted. You will be insulted, talked down to and lashed out at. These parents do not want you in their lives and they need someone to blame. But remain focused and remember the children are what matters. These kids are not responsible for the choices their parents make. We want them to make better ones as adults.
Most of my “kids” have been placed in much better situations than I found them, but I have had cases where I didn’t agree with the outcome – where I thought the kids would end up right back in the system or worse, but my team does the best we can with the information we can gather and present to the court. I know I’m making a difference. Being a CASA volunteer is very much like being a parent – the hardest, most frustrating thing, but also the most rewarding thing you will ever do.